Apollo 8


Apollo 8 crew

The Apollo 8 crew.

NASA image KSC-68PC-372, with thanks to Ed Hengeveld.
Click image for full 1.2MB version.


With the pioneering flight of Apollo 8, the race to the Moon was effectively won.

Sure, the lunar landing was yet to come – but Apollo 8 faced so many unknowns and produced so many ‘firsts’, including –

• The first men to ride a Saturn V
• the first to fly higher than 850 miles
• the first to leave the Earth’s gravitational influence
• the first men to be cut off from view of the Earth
• the first men to enter lunar orbit and see the lunar farside;
• the first to leave lunar orbit and to enter the Earth’s atmosphere at lunar return velocities
• the first test of the full capabilites of the Manned Space Flight Network operating at lunar distances.

In all this, Honeysuckle Creek – with its wing site at Tidbinbilla – played a major role, being prime for LOI and TEI and tracking the spacecraft for extended periods each day.

Apollo 8 – along with Apollo 11 – ranks as one of the greatest voyages of discovery of modern times.